What Causes a Pseudomonas Skin Infection in Dogs?

The ear is the most likely site of pseudomonas infection.
The ear is the most likely site of pseudomonas infection. (Image: dog, blue weimeraner profile head shot, eye, ear image by Paul Retherford from Fotolia.com)

Pseudomonas is a bacteria that causes infection in all animals. The bacteria is particularly virulent and is resistant to all antibiotics. Pseudomonas is found in a wide array of environments, including food, soil, water and fauna. Although it doesn’t always cause infection, pseudomonas can cause infection on the skin of a dog, especially in the ear, for a number of reasons.

Dirty Ears

If your dog’s ears are unclean, excessive moisture can create an environment ideal for pseudomonas to thrive. To help prevent a pseudomonas infection in your dog, clean his ears regularly. If your dog has ulcers, legions, yellow discharge and a foul odor in the ears, this is a potential sign of a pseudomonas infection.

Lack of Airflow

In dogs with large ears, such as bloodhounds and spaniels, airflow to the middle and inner ear is restricted. Natural airflow typically helps keep the ears free from debris, dirt and moisture. If your dog has long ears, his inner ears may gather moisture, providing a good environment for pseudomonas to thrive.


Allergic reactions to pollen, food or cleaning products can cause skin irritation in dogs. The irritation, if severe enough, will cause your dog to scratch. The scratching makes the skin more susceptible to infection because it is broken and inflamed. This provides the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive and enter the body.

Contaminated Veterinary Equipment

Pseudomonas can thrive in natural and artificial environments. Veterinary equipment such as medication applicators can transfer bacteria into the ear. Veterinary staff can avoid transmitting bacteria into your dog’s ear by using brand-new, sterile equipment each time they perform an exam.


Parasites, such as ticks and fleas, favor the inner ear because it has little hair coverage. Infestations cause irritation, which causes your dog to scratch. The moistness of the ear, combined with the inflamation caused by scratching, makes a pseudomonas infection more likely. Once the parasite has infested the ear, the dog’s immune system will naturally fight it by creating a spot or abscess, this opening in the skin increases the likelihood of any pseudomonas bacteria causing an infection.

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